Three Keys to a Solid Local Church

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

“Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine” (1 Timothy 4:13 KJV).

Look at the Church the Body of Christ. What shame and heartache. The average church member knows as much Bible as someone who has never gone to church! Courtesy of most churches, hundreds of thousands die and go to hell every day, led astray by works-religion. Millions of precious souls are daily denied the truths of God’s Word because church leaders fear losing their “faithful monetary support.”

In today’s Scripture, what did the Apostle Paul urge Timothy to do to combat the false teaching that had engulfed Ephesus (1 Timothy 1:3-11)? Develop a new church program? Schedule a revival? Pray? Organize a vigorous x-step process of re-dedication? Do nothing? (These are Christendom’s common “solutions” for carnality and disarray—especially the latter of “do nothing!”)

To correct false teaching, Paul gave Timothy a charge: “Give attendance [pay attention] to…:”

  1. “READING.” What were they to read? Denominational creeds? “Christian” bestsellers about the Bible? Advice columns written by lost people? Obviously, they were to read the Bible like the Bereans who “searched the scriptures daily, to see whether those things [they heard] were so” (Acts 17:10,11). The Colossians were urged to read the epistle Paul wrote to Laodicea, and the Laodiceans were instructed to read the epistle written to Colosse (Colossians 4:16). Ephesians 3:4 and 1 Thessalonians 5:27 also instruct believers to read the Bible. The Bible says to “study” it (2 Timothy 2:15).
  2. “EXHORTATION.” Christians should exhort (encourage) one another to continue in sound dispensational Bible study so the Bible can transform them for God’s glory (1 Thessalonians 2:10-12; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-18; 1 Timothy 6:1-21; 2 Timothy 4:1-5; Titus 2:1-15).
  3. “DOCTRINE.” Doctrine is important, for it separates us from the world’s religious system. Our doctrine for this dispensation is only found in Paul’s epistles: what God has to say to us today is in Paul’s epistles of Romans through Philemon (Romans 11:13; 1 Corinthians 14:37).

If Christians gave attendance to these things—especially #3—we would not be in this spiritual mess.

Have Ye Not Read?

Monday, December 12, 2011

“Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ” (Ephesians 3:4 KJV).

The Bible records, some 10 times, Jesus asking His audience, “Have ye not read?” (Matthew 12:3-5; Matthew 19:4; Matthew 21:16,42; Matthew 22:31; Mark 2:25; Mark 12:10,26; Luke 6:3). His audience had had the Old Testament Scriptures for some 1,500 years, and yet they could not remember simple phrases. Actually, if you examine the contexts of these verses, it is quite obvious His audience (Israel’s religious leaders) was deliberately ignorant. They refused to remember because that would mean agreeing with Him!

Sadly, denominational churchgoers, like Israel’s leadership of old, turn a blind eye to these simple truths of the Scriptures, lest they are forced to agree with us that God’s Word is right and their religious system is wrong.

  • Have ye not read, “Man doth not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God?” (Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4).
  • Have ye not read, “Paul is our apostle, the apostle of the Gentiles?” (Romans 11:13; Romans 15:16; 2 Timothy 1:11).
  • Have ye not read, “Ye are not under the law, but under grace?” (Romans 6:14).
  • Have ye not read, “In the beginning was the Word [Jesus Christ], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, and that the Word was made flesh?” (John 1:1,14).
  • Have ye not read, “Jesus Christ died for your sins, He was buried, and He was raised again for your justification?” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Romans 4:25).
  • Have ye not read, “For by grace and ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast?” (Ephesians 2:8,9).
  • Have ye not read, “For God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while were yet sinners Christ died for us?” (Romans 5:8).
  • Have ye not read, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth?” (2 Timothy 2:15).

Ye have read now!!!!

Stability for Your Christian Life

Saturday, December 10, 2011

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is my mom’s favorite verse (today is her birthday—she will be reading this!). Consider the doctrine contained therein:

  • “Therefore”—Because we have “victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (verse 57)….
  • “My beloved brethren” — This is the love of Christ that all members of the Body of Christ have for one another (Romans 12:10; Romans 13:8-10; 1 Corinthians 16:24; et al.).
  • “Be ye stedfast, unmoveable”“Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might (Ephesians 6:10). “…Strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully persuaded that, what [God] had promised, he was able also to perform (Romans 4:20b,21). “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you [behave] like men, be strong(1 Corinthians 16:13). Read 2 Timothy 2:1: be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” Colossians 1:23: “Continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel(cf. Ephesians 4:11-16).
  • “Always abounding in the work of the Lord” — We are “[God’s] workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works” (Ephesians 2:10). “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building” (1 Corinthians 3:9). God is doing something awesome today. As workmen,” we participate in His activities by placing our faith in His Word to us. He will then use that sound doctrine to work mightily in us (Philippians 1:6; Philippians 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 2:15).
  • “Forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” — The key to being “stedfast,” “unmoveable,” and “always abounding in the work of the Lord” is found here, the latter part of the verse. “Forasmuch” means “since; because.” Because we know that our Christian service is not a waste of time, we (by having faith in that hope) are “stedfast,” “unmoveable,” and “always abounding in the work of the Lord.”

-Dedicated to my mom, Paula Brasseaux-
Happy birthday Mom!

Fables and Endless Genealogies

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

“As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do” (1 Timothy 1:3,4 KJV).

Ephesus was in trouble. Instead of sound Bible doctrine, certain individuals were teaching “fables and endless genealogies.” Questions were arising in the Christian assemblies. Doubt, confusion, and discouragement proliferated. Incidentally, some years earlier, Paul had warned the Ephesian church leaders that “grievous wolves” of their own selves would infiltrate the flock and mislead the brethren (Acts 20:17,28-31). It happened!

So, in today’s Scripture, Paul informs us that he has left Timothy in Ephesus so Timothy can correct the doctrinal error. A sobering thought is, How could Paul decide where to send Timothy today? Millions of Timothys would be needed because, since then, doctrinal error has spread worldwide and waxed worse and worse (2 Timothy 4:3,4).

God designed His Word to edify (build up/strengthen and enlighten). But Satan and sinful man cooperate to silence its message or greatly dilute it with “fables and endless genealogies.” “Genealogies” refers to pagan and/or Jewish stories passed down through families, information that would profit no one spiritually, and only generate contention (arguing) and doubt (cf. Titus 1:14; Titus 3:9). Their modern-day equivalent is the empty church tradition passed down from “church fathers.”

The Apostle Peter mentioned “cunningly devised fables” (2 Peter 1:16) and the Apostle Paul referred to “refusing profane and old wives’ fables” (1 Timothy 4:7). These exaggerated, fabricated stories (legends) sought to replace sound Bible doctrine, and Timothy was sent to command the Ephesians not to teach such nonsense. “Godly edifying which is in faith: so do is explained in Acts 20:32 (Paul had already told the Ephesians this!): “Brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up….”

As Paul told Timothy and Ephesus, sound Bible teaching (dispensational Bible study) is the key to the confusion and heresy that still plague Christendom today.

Like the Most High

Sunday, November 27, 2011

“…I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:14b KJV).

Satan (Lucifer speaking in today’s Scripture) is the arch-nemesis of God. The devil is the master counterfeiter. Notice:

  1. False witnesses (Psalm 27:12; Matthew 26:60,61) cf. the Lord’s witnesses (John 8:14; Acts 5:32).
  2. False visions (Jeremiah 14:14) cf. the Lord’s visions (Ezekiel 1:1).
  3. False dreams (Jeremiah 23:32) cf. the Lord’s dreams (Matthew 2:12,13).
  4. False prophets (Mark 13:22; 1 John 4:1) cf. the Lord’s prophets (Ephesians 3:5).
  5. False Christs (Matthew 24:24) cf. the Lord’s Christ (Psalm 2:2; Luke 2:26).
  6. False apostles (2 Corinthians 11:13) cf. the Lord’s apostles (Luke 11:46).
  7. False brethren (2 Corinthians 11:26; Galatians 2:4) cf. the Christian brethren (Philippians 1:14).
  8. False ministers (2 Corinthians 11:14,15) cf. the Lord’s minister to us, Paul (Romans 15:16).
  9. False gospels (Galatians 1:6-9; 2 Corinthians 11:3,4) cf. Paul’s Gospel (Acts 20:24; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 2 Timothy 2:8).
  10. False doctrines (1 Timothy 4:1) cf. Paul’s doctrines (1 Corinthians 11:1; 1 Corinthians 14:37; 2 Timothy 2:7).
  11. False wonders, miracles, and signs (2 Thessalonians 2:9; Revelation 13:13,14) cf. the Lord’s wonders, miracles, and signs (Mark 16:17-20; Acts 2:22).
  12. False spirits (1 John 4:1-6) cf. the Holy Spirit/Spirit of Christ (1 Peter 1:11; 2 Peter 1:21).
  13. False Bibles (2 Corinthians 2:17; 2 Thessalonians 2:2)—“as from us” indicates a letter appearing to be from the Apostle Paul, but it was actually a forged epistle because it contained false doctrine that troubled the Thessalonians—cf. God’s Bible (1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 4:12).

Satan knows that as long as you focus on his counterfeits, you will ignore God’s original. To Satan’s delight, whenever Israel would worship pagan gods, she would ignore the true God. As long as the Church the Body of Christ does not believe nor know of the things that God has specifically for us, then God cannot use us for His glory and purposes. Saints, be discerning, for Satan’s “cunning craftiness” abounds (Ephesians 4:14; cf. 2 Corinthians 11:3,4) and hold fast to the rightly divided King James Bible so you will not be deceived by the counterfeits.

Save Thyself and Thy Audience!

Monday, November 21, 2011

“Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee” (1 Timothy 4:16 KJV).

Timothy, according to 1 Timothy 1:1,2, was already saved (having trusted in Jesus Christ’s shed blood and resurrection). So, why did Paul write in today’s Scripture that Timothy could save himself and those who heard him?

Paul instructed Timothy to continue in sound Bible doctrine (see 1 Timothy 4:12-15). In doing so, Timothy would save himself from false teaching (religion), and Timothy teaching the Bible “rightly divided” would save others from false teaching. Hell and religion destroy your soul. You need to be saved from both.

Today, sound Bible teaching is scarce, even within many so-called “Bible-believing” churches. Over 2,000 years’ worth of church tradition and human viewpoint have muddled and obscured the Bible’s glorious truths. Many Christians quote the Bible, claiming passages given to someone else (Israel).

There are many true, Holy Spirit-indwelt believers whose souls have been saved by Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork, but who have never been saved from false teaching. The Galatians were saved from hell, yet they did not believe sound doctrine. So, they struggled to obey Israel’s program (Galatians 3:1-3).

We want to save ourselves from disappointment and deception. Our faith should rest in God’s Word to us, not God’s Word to someone else (Israel). Moreover, we should not trust in man’s word, but God’s Word.

How do we save ourselves and our audience from vain religious tradition and denominationalism? The Bible says in 2 Timothy 2:24-26: “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”

The key to saving thyself and thy audience from false teaching is to study, believe, and teach the Bible God’s way, using dispensational Bible study, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

The Jitterbug Jesus Crowd

Thursday, November 10, 2011

“But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:7,8 KJV).

You need not visit local nightclubs for free dance lessons. Simply attend a church whose “worship” service embraces contemporary “Christian” music. There, you witness churchgoers boogieing to the rhythms of the flesh. One Christian brother aptly termed them the “jitterbug Jesus” crowd. In religious ecstasy, they raise their hands, convulse, jump pews, laugh uncontrollably, and utter gibberish (modern-day “tongues”). Behold the charismatic movement.

Twenty years ago, a Christian friend of mine left his local church for doctrinal reasons (my parents also left that church around that time). Recently, he informed me that he revisited it some weeks ago. The brother was amazed at how the church had changed… for the worse!

To his horror, unlike his previous visits, drum beating was commonplace during “worship.” Rather than traditional hymns, the churchgoers sang unfamiliar, modern songs that made their bodies really move. Furthermore, they had abandoned the King James Bible for an overhead display of the depraved NIV! In disgust, he left that church for the second time, perhaps to never return (fortunately).

Apostasy and heresy have infiltrated many so-called “Bible-believing, fundamental, evangelical” churches. The very churches that were once the best of the worst have now spiritually declined to fulfill ranks just above the cults. Frightening indeed!

Who goes to church for Bible study? Precious few! Most just go for entertainment. After one hour of jumping and shouting, the preacher tells many jokes, quotes a verse or two, and everyone hurries home. Beloved, today’s Scripture declares, “bodily [fleshly] exercise profiteth little!” Spiritual highs are temporary. Contrariwise, “godliness,” or sound Bible teaching (1 Timothy 4:6; 1 Timothy 6:3-6), is extremely profitable, both in this life and that which is to come.

Few churches teach and preach the King James Bible rightly divided, whose men and women unashamedly oppose the charismatic movement. We stand with them and thank God they stand with us!